Here's a bizarre concept. Let's take a look at the BIG picture, rather than focus on what we look like right now.
I am so NOT 'that guy' that wants to discuss anything typically political. Occasionally however, one of the 'barely made it into the political arena, by way of a minority vote' officials, has been known to say something worth noting. The other day just by chance, happened to provide one of those moments.
George Smitherman has always seemed to me, as a guy who just might get it. In our legislature, he has been nicknamed "Furious George" for his aggressive, colourful and often abrasive antics in sessions. His plight has always been focused on reducing wait times in our health care system and despite taking a brutal back-stabbing hit from within his own political party on this topic, he has remained stead fast and determined about upgrading what currently exists.
But the topic George has taken on this time, is not health care. No, George decided to take Canadiana to the next level of politics, by blasting our OLG, ( The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation ) who is under some very serious scrutiny already, for a little suspicious "insider" winning situation.
Now George decided to take a stand when the OLG bought 22 Mercedes Benz vehicles for contest prizes to be given away, rather than buying some good old fashioned General Motors products, made right here in our very own Province! Not sure why he went with GM only, (can't have anything to do with campaign contributions, since George drives a Ford!) as Chrysler, Ford, Toyota and Honda, all have plants here as well. But take a stand he did! He wanted to know why they didn't buy Canadian at least or even better, something from within our own Provincial tax paying, auto manufacturing business sector.
I say, good on ya' George!
Except for one small thing.
Uh George....... Isn't the whole point of the OLG and all of the lotteries and gaming in our Province, to help raise the money needed to improve our situation? Let's take a little look see at the reason the OLG was created in the first place shall we?
What do they do with the $ raised ?
In the 2004/05 business year, OLG generated approximately $2 billion in proceeds that were allocated by the Province of Ontario, including:
$1.5 billion to hospitals
$334 million to general government priorities such as health care and education
$100 million to the Ontario Trillium Foundation
$36 million to problem gambling (<== of which I saw $0.00 TYVM !)
*Buy the way, on a side note* I personally find it a little alarming that the current stats for an organization VERY under suspicion of insider activity, only carries four year old statistics for all to see! But then again, who am I to say anything?
I think George's calls to buy not only Canadian but within our own Province, are very admirable. I just think he's missing the true 'big picture' on this one.
Let's see, sell tickets or hold a lottery for 22 Mercedes Benz vehicles and see if we can raise a little cash, or see if we can garner the same type of interest in 22 Chevy Impalas that were tendered at a higher (WTF?) initial purchase price? Hmmm..... Mercedes Benz or Chev Impala at a slightly higher price. Which one might help sell more tickets and make me a buck or two more? What would you do?
So here's my take, as written to a fellow proponent of improving our situation.
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I can't begin to tell you how proud I am as a Canadian and fellow Ontarian, to see you stand up for what you believe in your heart, is the right thing for our Province to do! It takes a very special person to stand in front of our great Legislature, and ask for a righting to a serious wrong. It is a truly wonderful thing to know someone is willing to stand in front of the assembly and voice a concern, for our Ontario workers.
Having said that however George is it just me, or is your aim just a tick off?
Standing up to represent the CAW and the average grommet pushing/air gun wielding $35 per hour Canadian making over $80,000 per year, is a very noble cause indeed. Particularly, when so many are in the news for the amount of job losses that are occurring in the automotive sector at this time. Very bold and original politics my friend!
I figure since you're on such a great rush, I'd ask for a little support in a few other areas as well. So if you think you could find the time, could you just take a quick look at these five other items as well?
1) Could we try offering Ontario Apples to our MPP's while they're in Legislature? Rather than the imported ones from Chile.
2) Could we take a quick look locally, and see if the flags at the Legislature could possibly be purchased within the Province? The nylon ones from Korea just don't seem to be lasting all that long.
3) What say you to the idea, that all future catering for any and all Provincial shindigs that happen to get thrown together for one reason or another, are tendered by a company that pays a couple of bucks in Provincial taxes every year? As opposed to the U.S. company that is frequently flown in from Vermount, just to make you folk a nice sammich.
4) Perhaps the new office chairs for the entire Government of Ontario that seem to be replaced every year without fail, could be sourced from a slightly more local supplier than Asia. I see there's an added incentive as well, what with the local chairs being about $35 cheaper each and all.
5) Do you think it would be possible to drop the focus on you being, "Canada's only openly gay Minister of Energy and Infrastructure" and put a little more focus on you being Canada's only Minister of Energy and Infrastructure? Because the last time I checked, it was an offensive remark for me to call you gay, despite you taking such great pride in the matter and using it to full advantage, whenever you see fit.
So George I'd like to leave you with one final thought on this whole buying car's from an Import manufacturer subject if I could. How is it, that the local automotive manufacturing sector couldn't be convinced to donate a few vehicles for charity within their own community in the first place? Was the barter system thrown out the window, despite these being actions deemed for the greater good of the Province and/or community?
I have to tell you here and now George, I just don't get it !
My big picture thinking....
Buy Canadian, whenever you can.
Buy extremely local, whenever possible.
Always support the community you live in, somehow or some way.
But solely in the name of the greater good....
Get a deal whenever you see one, and then bitch about the local business that couldn't see fit to get behind that cause with you! I'd say with all of the talk about bailing out the poor old automotive industry, we're already supporting them within our local community.
One of Canada's openly heterosexual tax payers.
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My sincerest thanks for dropping by....